East of Lake, Coniston, LA21 8AD

Brantwood (Gordon Bell /

The grand country home of Brantwood is a Grade II listed building overlooking the picturesque Coniston Water. Today it is a museum dedicated to its former famous occupant, John Ruskin, a man who had considerable influence in the nineteenth century on a range of areas including art, literature, politics, and philanthropy.

The extensive gardens of the property provide a peaceful place to explore, whilst inside you can get an in depth understanding of the life and works of Ruskin.

Planning Your Visit

Contact Details:
01539 441 396 / Website
Please see official website
Seasonal Opening:
Open All Year (Closed on Mon & Tues Nov to March)


The house was originally built at the end of the 18th century and later enlarged. Its prime spot overlooking Coniston made it attractive to notable figures of the time who made the place their home, including Gerald Massey, poet, and George William Kitchin, Dean of Durham Cathedral. John Ruskin moved into the property in 1872 and he expanded the house further and brought with him his collection of manuscripts, paintings, and mineral collection. Ruskin died in 1900, and in 1951 the Brantwood Trust was established to preserve the property in honour of him.

John Ruskin wrote extensively about the arts, literature, politics, conservationism and philanthropism and these inspired many of his peers including Tolstoy, Proust, and Ghandi. His ideas on preservation are also have thought to have influenced founders of the National Trust with whom Ruskin was friends.

Things To See

Many of the rooms of the house are open to the public and presented as they would have been during Ruskin’s occupancy and there are several personal items of Ruskin’s that can be found throughout, including artwork and furniture. There is also a gallery which features regularly changing exhibitions on a range of subjects and themes.

The house is set within a 250-acre estate and there are eight gardens that visitors are welcome to explore, including the Zig Zaggy, said to represent the journey to paradise as told by Dante, and the Hortus Inclusus, which features over 200 herbs.

Useful Information

If you love the location of Brantwood you can book into the Eyrie, a self-catered apartment located on the upper floor of the building, available for a minimum two night stay.

Brantwood has a café serving a selection of light lunches and snacks.

The ground floor of the property, which contains the gallery, the café, and most of the public rooms is wheelchair accessible. Most of the gardens have stepped access and are, therefore, not wheelchair accessible.


Tickets are available that combine entrance to Brantwood with a return journey on the Coniston Launch ferries.


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